Luton mum marked World Cancer Day by celebrating 7-year 'cancerversary'

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Cancer awareness campaigner calls for support in fight against disease

Luton mum Denise Coates will always mark February 4 as the day she was freed of cancer. The date, World Cancer Day, marked seven years since Denise beat breast cancer and the beginning of a crusade to ‘give back’ in her work as a cancer awareness campaigner.

It was in 2016 that Denise went from a busy career in sales to a whirlwind of appointments including scans, surgery and radiotherapy after a shocking Christmas Eve diagnosis of breast cancer.

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Denise, 60, said: “The irony that it was on World Cancer Day that I had surgery to remove my tumour was overwhelming but with it, came the realisation that I was going to be OK. As I reached my seven-year ‘cancerversary’ and continue to take medication Cancer Research UK helped to develop to keep my cancer at bay, I appreciate even more how important research is.”

Luton mum Denise Coates has been on a crusade to ‘give back’ and raise awareness following successful treatment for breast cancerLuton mum Denise Coates has been on a crusade to ‘give back’ and raise awareness following successful treatment for breast cancer
Luton mum Denise Coates has been on a crusade to ‘give back’ and raise awareness following successful treatment for breast cancer

Denise hopes that sharing her story will inspire others to mark the awareness day by joining the fight against the disease.

With around 35,500 people diagnosed with cancer every year in the East, Denise’s message is clear – to save lives tomorrow, Cancer Research UK needs the public’s support today.

That’s why she’s calling on people across Bedfordshire to give regularly to the charity to help fund long term research projects that could drive new breakthroughs for people like her. Life-saving cancer treatments are made possible by months and months of trialling, testing and learning. But monthly progress in research needs monthly donations.

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Denise added: “Research into better treatments has given me the greatest gift - more precious time with my loved ones and new opportunities to give back. Since then, I’ve looked at life through a different set of eyes. The skies are bluer, the grass is greener and my life is different.

“It led me to do something that was important to me and that’s why I’ve been doing so much work around awareness. But the work I do would not be possible without the dedication of scientists who are relentlessly striving towards new milestones month after month. Research is improving survival and scientists find the way – but they need our support.”

Denise added: “If I had been diagnosed with cancer ten or 20 years ago, the outcome might not have been the same for me and that’s down to research. “But every World Cancer Day is a reminder that I’ve survived another year after my breast cancer.

“By donating monthly to Cancer Research UK, people across Bedfordshire could help give hope to many more families like mine and save lives for generations to come.”

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Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Bedfordshire Elisa Mitchell, said: “Regular giving is crucial to our work, because it means we can fund long term research – research that could lead to new discoveries about cancer and unlock new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat it.

“One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime, but all of us can help beat it. So, we hope more people across Bedfordshire will donate monthly - if they can. We’re working towards a world where we can all live longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer.”

Donate to life-saving cancer research here